Zika transmission in Florida, USA - update

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that there have been no new cases of Zika fever detected in South Miami Beach in the past 45 days. The absence of new cases means that the risk of Zika virus infection is no longer greater than in the rest of Miami-Dade County. There may be some risk in the remaining areas of Miami-Dade County.

So far this year, a total of 4,575 cases of Zika have been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii. Only 185 of these infected people acquired the disease from locally infected mosquitoes while 38 infections resulted from sexual transmission. The vast majority became infected while travelling abroad in countries where extensive transmission of this virus continues.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Zika Fever.

Advice For Travellers

The risk of exposure for the general traveller in the USA is very low, but based on the number of persons who became infected while travelling in countries with extensive transmission of this virus, the risk of exposure can be very high. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for this infection. Travellers can minimize the risk of exposure by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

There is strong scientific evidence that this virus is the cause of microcephaly (small brain) and other neurological abnormalities in newborn infants. The World Health Organization advises that pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika virus outbreaks. Pregnant women whose sexual partners live in or travel to areas with Zika virus outbreaks should ensure safe sexual practices or abstain from sex for the duration of their pregnancy.